Creating A Better Future For At-Risk Teens
July 25, 2018
WE LIVE UNITED by helping troubled teens realize their full potential. When we are able to identify and support at-risk youth early, we can prevent further delinquent behavior. We want to increase their chances of graduating so they can be prepared for life after high school. If not for your support, many of these kids will continue to make poor choices and would be lost in a life of crime and poverty. We are grateful for our partnership with the Just Understand My Potential (JUMP) Program through Family Service & Children’s Aid. JUMP supports financial independence by providing at-risk juveniles with services that promote regular school attendance, improve overall choices in their behavior, improve familial relationships, prevent further prosecution and recidivism, and provide an opportunity for their criminal record to be suppressed. Your support matters. Here is just one example of the many lives that have been improved by this United Way supported program.
Jason came into the JUMP program from court on a retail fraud charge. He was living with his mom and two sisters. This was a single parent home. Mom had to work till 6 PM, meaning the kids were always home alone for hours after school. When mom did get home, most nights Jason would be out with friends, unsupervised and making bad choices. Mom and Jason would argue about most everything. Jason did not like to listen to mom and mom did not like to be ignored. They had a very contentious relationship. As part of the United Way supported JUMP Program, Jason worked on friend and family relationships, self-esteem, and positive choices. Due to his transportation needs and the school year just ending Jason and his worker would meet at the park across the street from his house. This allowed for an open setting where the two to get into great conversations about what would help make life less stressful at home, the need for rules, and what he could do to contribute in a positive way at home. At the end of the program, Jason moved with his dad. Due to continued contact it was revealed that Jason made the football team at his new school. He has been making positive friend choices and has even made honor roll at his new school. Dad reported to not have issues with Jason. He described Jason as a contributing member in the family. There has been no further contact with the law for Jason.
The JUMP Program is changing lives in Jackson County. Six months after completing the program, schools are reporting that 98% of the teens have satisfactory attendance, parent reports indicate that 98% of the teens have improved behavior at home, and the court reports show 95% have had no encounters with the law after 6 months. Your support has made it possible for Jason and many more troubled teens to develop and maintain their pathway toward stability and success.